Since the pandemic kept everyone indoors for much of the past 18 months, many women who have recently been diagnosed or are currently living with breast cancer are looking for ways to take charge and improve their quality of life. The good news is that there are many ways to pamper yourself at home. Here are some simple beauty, wellness, and exercise tips you can try that can help ease some of the symptoms of breast cancer.
Relieve pain with household products
Through illness and health, each body remains unique. You may experience different levels of pain, tenderness, or itching depending on the type of breast cancer you have and its particular stage. Fortunately, you can ease the pain with everyday household beauty products in your kitchen pantry or on your bathroom cabinet. Here are several easy home remedies that you can try to alleviate potential side effects caused by disease or cancer treatment:
- Bathe with Epsom salt whenever your skin becomes irritated or itchy. While a relaxing bath can help relieve stress and anxiety, the essential minerals in Epsom salt contain beneficial properties that can provide instant relief for dry and irritated skin. Salt, which is made from magnesium sulfate, can also treat skin rashes and flush out harmful toxins found within your body.
- Check to see if you have a cold pack or instant cold pack in your first aid kit. Apply the cold compress to the breast area to relieve pain, swelling, and tenderness. (However, you never want to put ice directly on your skin.)
- Go to your kitchen and find a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Dilute it with water in a bowl and a cotton ball in the mixture. Rub it gently on your skin until the itching is relieved.
Review your beauty routine
When you’re buried under a pile of paperwork or rushing to appointments, it’s easy to forget to love yourself. Chemotherapy and other breast cancer treatments can affect your body. The following beauty tips are a great way to pamper yourself and keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy:
- If you experience hair loss due to chemotherapy, keep your scalp hydrated and protected from the sun with a mixture of coconut oil, carrot seed oil, shea butter, and zinc oxide. These ingredients have a natural level of sun protection that can protect your scalp from the sun.
- Avoid hot showers whenever possible. Instead, take warm or cold showers and moisturize your skin immediately afterward to reduce your chances of developing itchy, dry skin, or a rash.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking at least 2 liters or 9 cups of liquid every day.
- Use unscented laundry detergent and avoid fragrances and strong dyes, which can further irritate your skin.
- Gently clean your makeup brushes, nail kit, and other beauty supplies before and after use to reduce the risk of infection.
Strengthen your immune system with a well-balanced diet
A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can make you feel happy and healthy. It can also be your best defense when living with breast cancer and receiving chemotherapy treatment. If possible, try incorporating the foods listed below into your diet while you are quarantined at home:
- Whole grains (for example, wheat, rye, oats)
- Leafy greens (for example, kale, arugula, spinach)
- Fatty fish protein (eg, salmon, mackerel)
- Lean protein (for example, chicken)
- Berries (for example, strawberries, blueberries)
Similarly, you should do everything you can to avoid or limit the consumption of the following foods:
- Fast food
- Processed meat (for example, bacon, cold cuts)
- Refined carbohydrates (for example, breakfast cereals, white rice)
- Fried and fatty foods (for example, French fries, fried chicken)
While it may be tempting, many of the items listed above can increase inflammation, increase estrogen levels, or stimulate the growth or spread of cancer cells.
Self-care is very important, especially if you are living with breast cancer during a global pandemic. Regardless of whether you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer or are undergoing treatment, you can take several immediate steps to improve your quality of life and general well-being by improving your diet, reviewing your beauty routine, and using household items for pain relief.